My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Storiesby Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published by St. Martin's Press, Macmillan on October 14th 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.
Do you need something to read over the holidays? Desperate for a book for the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon? If you enjoy innocent (wink) young adult romance that tickles new adult, you will love this holiday themed anthology.
Gathering some the most popular, which also means talented, young adult authors, Stephanie Perkins organized this anthology to hook it’s readers with the first few stories. And even though I might not have totally went ga-ga over all the stories, ever single one of them was well worth my precious reading time. It’s just nice to escape into a holiday season only brief moments through each little short story.
My super short summary of each:
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell –
Absolutely THE best way to set the tone for this anthology! I loved this extremely well written story. Noel and Mags have been a package deal (ie. best friends) ever since Mags “saved” Noel’s life three years ago. All I can do is share this phenomenal quote with you:
“… And I need you to stop kissing other people just because they’re standing next to you when the ball drops.”
The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link –
A fairy tale that took a little too long to gather itself up to deliver it’s lesson/moral. Still entertaining, though.
Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena –
I loved this story because it’s told from a guy’s POV – well, duh, it’s written by a guy! But it’s so genuine and real. While I was reading this, I could script the girl’s part in my head; Mr. De La Pena got the girl’s POV so accurate, even though he really didn’t write it 😉 This story birthed a new phrase for me: “flexible aesthetic”. Yep, I’ve got one of those….
Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han –
#$@%*! Ended too soon… grrrrrrr.
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins –
Anyone who writes a story referencing the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, let alone characters demanding to buy one at a tree lot, gets an automatic five star review…. not really but I love cranky 17 year old North. He sure did surprise me ∗swoon∗ Marigold wins second best heroine of this anthology with this quote:
“But Marigold was enthralled by the way he said the word unwieldy. A fantasy flashed through her mind in which he dictated an endless list of juicy-sounding words. Innocuous. Sousaphone. Crepuscular…”
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan –
I was confused by this story. It started out so awesome. At the end, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be sad or happy. I like my HEAs not so cerebral.
Krampulauf by Holly Black –
One of two paranormal stories in this anthology. I wasn’t a fan of the execution of this story. The premise had a ton of potential but I think Ms. Black just took way too long to get there. Plus I kept having flashbacks of Doofenshmirtz singing about the Kinderlumper – I watch too many cartoons.
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman –
I don’t normally go for these kind of stories but I really liked this one because it gave me a nice HEA. The story started awesome, then got a bit preachy/message-y, and then it got sweet and romantic. Can I get a collective, “Awwww”?
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire –
What happens when you combine a Christmas pageant with a civil war reenactment? A trouble maker hoping to avoid juvie and maybe get the girl. The heroine in this story and her father were probably my two favorite characters from this entire anthology!
Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White –
What the hell? I freakin’ cried at the BIG moment of this story! You start with a grinch and end up with a…. I don’t know if I’d say Santa Claus but there’s hope when our heroine finally finds where her home is. Yeah, I got suckered in to this mush-fest.
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter –
I adored this family-centered story to pieces! I love a good classic tale of bad guy vs. the silly small town folk who don’t know nothin’… you know how that always ends 😀
The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor –
I question putting a paranormal story as the anchor at the end of this anthology but I’m not an editor so what the heck do I know. I just don’t think this story was the strongest one to end on. I like the fairy tale feel of it. I just didn’t get goosebumps or any big “feels” from the story. Sorry…
Next summer, Stephanie is releasing another anthology! Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories will be releasing in June 2016 and has her revisiting North and Marigold (YAY!). She has also lined up 11 completely different young adult authors for this anthology. Yes, I will be all over this one, too.